UPDATE 1-Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:19am EST

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Dec 20 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Thursday:

* The intensifying struggle by private equity groups to raise funds has spurred plans by Apax Partners to call time on its current fund marketing push after reckoning its 9 billion euros ($11.93 billion) target is out of reach, the Financial Times reported. ()

* IntercontinentalExchange Inc and NYSE Euronext are in talks about a possible merger, which may be structured as a takeover of NYSE, the Wall Street Journal reported.

* The London Stock Exchange Group Plc has cut its offer for LCH.Clearnet by almost a third to 312 million euros ($413.7 million), to reflect rising capital requirements, sources familiar with the matter said.

* MetLife Inc, the largest U.S. life insurer, is in advanced talks to buy Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA's Chilean pension management unit, Bloomberg reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

* General Electric Co is set to sign on Thursday a deal to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio excluding its space division, sources close to the talks said.

* Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd has emerged as the lead bidder to buy Robeco, four people familiar with the matter said this week. The asset management arm of Dutch bank Rabobank NV could fetch around 3 billion euros ($3.98 billion), one of the sources said.

* Bulge-bracket private equity funds are in talks to buy a minority stake in Lafarge SA as the French cement multinational taps new avenues to fund its expansion, given the global parent's preoccupation with a massive restructuring programme caused by high debt, the Economic Times reported. ()

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